Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 2nd ODI, Hambantota March 24, 2013

Tough fight without Tamim for Bangladesh


Match facts

March 25, Hambantota
Start time 1430 local (0900GMT)

Big Picture

"Demolished" was the word Angelo Mathews used to describe what the Sri Lanka openers did to the Bangladesh attack in the first ODI. An eight wicket victory with more than five overs to spare is difficult enough for Bangladesh to swallow, but the psychological setbacks incurred during that violent stand may take some getting over as well. The visitors now only have one day in which to launch a series-saving comeback, and with Tamim Iqbal heading home because of a finger fracture, Bangladesh's chances of levelling the series seem slim.

The tourists' best hope lies in dismissing Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara early and attacking Sri Lanka's inexperienced middle order, who have not always been an assured ODI unit, particularly against spin. Kushal Perera may have been a capable walloping assistant to Dilshan in the first ODI, but he is yet to make a half century in international cricket, while Dinesh Chandimal has a poor record at home in limited overs cricket, and Angelo Mathews has not been at his best against high-quality slow bowling. Bangladesh must ensure they do not allow the seniors to walk the young Sri Lankan batsmen through their innings, like they have for much of the tour.

The hosts, will have been thrilled with the crushing first-up win, and the partnership that set it up, but there was plenty to dislike about their cricket on Saturday evening as well. The bowling was wayward, particularly at the death when Nasir Hossain led the charge, but even earlier in the innings, when Tamim made use of the dross being served up at regular intervals. Sri Lanka have in their ranks a man who at his best can deliver yorker after searing yorker, but Lasith Malinga has been wildly inconsistent over the last 14 months, and Sri Lanka have bled late runs as a result. The hosts gave up 90 runs in the last ten overs in the first match, and captain Angelo Mathews may be prudent to devise a failsafe plan, should Malinga have an indifferent outing.

Sri Lanka's fielding has also been abysmal throughout the tour, and despite a diving catch from Kushal Janith Perera to dismiss Mohammad Ashraful, they will not have been pleased with their overall effort on Saturday. Mathews poor catching form hit rock bottom when he spilt a sitter off Tamim when he was on 55, and wayward throws and a lack of fielding initiative led to bonus runs and reprieves.

Form guide

Sri Lanka WLWWL (most recent first, completed matches only)
Bangladesh LWLLW

In the spotlight

Nuwan Kulasekara was the worst of Sri Lanka's bowlers in the first match, having conceded 67 runs in his nine overs. He had had an exceptional limited overs tour of Australia, but after playing him in both Tests, Bangladesh's batsmen have grown wise to his inswing, and his away-seamer has not been effective in this tour so far either. Control is often his best asset, but Bangladesh's batsmen seemed to have targeted him by backing away and blasting him through the off side. Kulasekara has 132 matches experience, and he will want to maintain his reputation for reliability through the rest of the series.

With Tamim gone, and Shakib Al Hasan never having been on tour through injury, the batting burden for Bangladesh falls heavy on the shoulders of captain Mushfiqur Rahim. He made his country's first international double-hundred in Galle, but was less impressive in the second Test, and fell playing an ugly swipe to Mathews in the first ODI. He is already tasked with rallying his side to prevent a series loss, but will now feel he has to contribute substantially with the bat as well.

Team news

Mathews said after the last ODI that his side would not look to make major changes, and with no injuries plaguing their squad, Sri Lanka will likely retain the same XI.

Sri Lanka: (probable) 1. Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2. Kushal Janith Perera, 3. Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4. Dinesh Chandimal, 5. Lahiru Thirimanne, 6. Angelo Mathews (c), 7. Jeevan Mendis, 8. Thisara Perera, 9. Nuwan Kulasekara, 10. Sachithra Senanayake, 11. Lasith Malinga

Jahurul Islam is the like-for-like replacement for Tamim but there is the option of using Mohammad Ashraful as the opener and letting Mominul Haque bat in the middle-order. It is a fair call given how much they need more batting stability, but they could also stay with a similar line-up. In the bowling, Shahadat Hossain may replace Abul Hasan.

Bangladesh: (probable) 1 Anamul Haque, 2 Jahurul Islam, 3 Mohammad Ashraful, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Ziaur Rahman, 8 Sohag Gazi, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Abul Hasan/Shahadat Hossain, 11 Rubel Hossain.

Pitch and conditions

Winning the toss may go a considerable distance towards winning the match, with the side fielding second having been hampered by both the dew in the evening, and a pitch was not at its best for strokeplay until later in the evening. The strip prepared for the second match looks similar to the first, and will likely have some assistance for the seam bowlers early on, with moderate turn for the spinners as well.

A thunderstorm only just missed the cricket on Saturday, having hit the nearby Sooriyawewa town, but not the stadium itself, and similar storms are forecast for the region for the 25th.


"Our bowling and our catching was not successful today. I dropped a catch as well. But our batsmen covered up all those mistakes. I think in the future we need to sort those problems out before they have a big influence on the match."
Angelo Mathews identifies his sides weaknesses.

"Somebody has to stand up and take the opportunity in my absence. We are a good one-day team, so we have the ability to bounce back. We have to win the next game and I think it is possible."
Tamim Iqbal is optimistic that his team will fare fine without him.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dru on March 25, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    I reckon SL should consider moving Sanga down the order and playing Thiri and Chandi ahead of him. He is the exeprienced hand and must be used to support the youngsters which cannot be done if they dont get to bat. I dont expect SL to win by 9 wickets everyday but there should some intent shown by batting the younger chaps up the order. When there is a batting collapse it's the younger chaps who end up batting with the tail and that role really should be taken by the experienced hands. Bangladesh should consider batting both Rahim and Nasir higher up the order. These guys are their class acts but are batting too dar down, specially Nasir who should be given a chance to bat longer and have a game changing impact.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    It's very difficult for bangla to defeat Srilanka now without key players. Lets hope for the best. Ashraful can never be consistent players. He should dropped for ever from the odi side

  • Shamalka on March 25, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    @rowdypeter , SK5983 and all the others who say that Mathews is not a good captain? Do you remember Arjuna's , Marvan's , Mahela's 1st matches as captain? Did they handle the team extra-ordinary well in their 1st match as captain? SK5983 - You say Mathews is not a good all-rounder. Look at the score card. He was the best bowler on that day. If Dilshan & Sanga had got out early, Mathews would've definitely turned things on SL's way like he has done many times in the past. If you haven't played atleast plastic ball cricket in your backyard, please do not comment on professional cricketers cluelessly.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    So whats the today's trick for Srilankan management, is it putting grass big, or just problem with floodlight or something else. It will never come to my mind about suspicious things as i have observed and noticed something that was little bit abnormal and different. In 2nd test when BD bat they just don't know the condition about sluggish and slow outfield . Surely did not have any idea for accelerating the score and just lost too many wickets , other hand Srilanka was well aware and use the particular side of the field to scored many runs in quick session! that's story of 2nd Test. In first one day not once, twice when BD was in top position,play just stopped that surely hampered the flow,game shifted towards Srilanka, Who knows if Tamim was there a little longer, BD may score near 300. After scoring 260 (which was tuff to chase),when Srilanka was in back foot then 2 hours play stopped and focused has been lost.Recent time Australia did same treatment with Srilanka if i am not wrong

  • Raman on March 25, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    @SK5983, You have a point that I also share. Mathews is over-hyped and he is mediocre in batting, bowling, fielding and most importantly captaining. With the talent pool we have, he might not even survive if he is not the captain. As a captain he is nowhere near Arjuna, Sanath, Marvan, Sanga, Mahela.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    @ SK5983 pls don't worry about SL. he just began. he will learn and improve. this is great period for all young players. there are enough talented players in SL who can replace the seniors.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    BD selectors are doing awful job. Picking wrong players for wrong format. Obviously that will produce same results. It's a time for change. Abul Hasan and Rubel Hossain, Shahadat Hossain should be dropped permanently from every single format. They hardly take wickets in a test cricket and pretty expensive in a ODI. BD selectors must pick fast bowlers who are doing well in a domestic cricket. At the end of the day it is not the experience but skills & talented cricket will produce better results. In this match, Robiul Islam & Ziaur Rahaman should have been picked as a pace bowlers. Gazi & Razzak should have picked as spin bowlers. The fifth bowler could have been shared between Mahmudullah & Mominul. Batting order is not correct either. BD must stick with following batting order, 1) Tamim 2) Anamul 3) Nasir 4) Shakib 5) Mushfiq 6) Mominul 7) Mahmudullah, that will produce much better resuls moving forward. In absence of Tamim & Shakib, Jahurul should open and Shamsur should bat at no 4

  • Raf on March 25, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    A tough enough task made even tougher with this injury. With Tamim gone, I can't see any other result other than a 3-0 series defeat. Even with Tamim it might've been 3-0. Really a shame that Bangladesh is now having to fight such a strong SL team without their two best tigers.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    winning toss seams very important in this condition. but still got to play well. bangladesh will miss tamim. but bangladesh has no lack of tallent in batting in the one day format. but again toss is going to be decisive factor

  • Ashqar on March 25, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    BD should give chance to samsur rahman....this guy is in form in the limited over format...dont drop anamul....give him more chance....he can score runs with his faulty foot mark....he already did....120 run in his second ODI....mominul/jahurul can get a chance in the place of ashraful i think...and for fast bowler....rubel,abul,shahadat...come on...neither of them is reliable....BD should be tensed about their fast bowlers...Mashrafe is great but badluck for suggestion is get rid of one fast bowler and give chance another left armer...!! that would be wise from my point of view....!!!

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